Last month I had the honor of attending a press trip to Macao, a Special Administrative Region of China. Macao, much like Hong Kong, benefits from the principle of “one country, two systems.” This was my first time traveling to Asia, so I was super excited to explore and get to know a brand new culture. When traveling, I always make sure to mix it up by of course covering landmarks but also doing all things that the locals do. To make our trip as seamless as possible, the Macao Government Tourism Office was kind enough to put together a fantastic itinerary that made sure to cover everything that I’d wanted. So after a 15+ hour flight via Cathay Pacific from New York (JFK) to Hong Kong, then a 40-minute ferry, we were finally in Macao! Here are some of my highlights and recommendations.
The Red Market, built in the 1930’s of red brick, this market is one of the busiest in all of Macao. It consists of 3 floors that are full of fresh meats, live fish, vegetables and fruit from farms locally and across the border in mainland China. The streets around the market are also packed with carts selling food and clothing for cheap.
Long Wa, is a traditional tea house that also offers old fashion Cantonese dim sum. Located very near to the Red Market, everything about this place is “old school” and perfect. Great for people watching and just soaking up the atmosphere in general. Photo by Keiko Lynn.
The Kun Iam Temple was founded in the 13th century and ever since has been lavishly endowed by worshippers with sacred images, scroll paintings, and altar pieces. Among the statues is one said to depict Marco Polo!
The Parisian Macao is set in an art deco building and featuring a half-scale Eiffel Tower outside, truly fascinating inside and out.
St. Lazarus District is a beautiful area, perfect for photography. The streets are tiled with cobblestone and Portuguese inspired buildings. There is also a huge art and culture scene. Definitely a “cool” area.
Hit the streets. When traveling nothing beats walking to fully learn about the surroundings and sights. Of course, you don’t have to get suited up like me, but with so many great photo-ops I couldn’t resist!
A-Ma Temple already existed before the city of Macao came into being. With a variety of pavilions dedicated to the worship of different deities in a single complex make A-Ma Temple an exemplary represetation of Chinese culture inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and multiple folk beliefs.
Senado Square has been Macao’s urban center for centuries and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today. The square is surrounded by pastel colored neo-classical building, creating a Mediterranean atmosphere.
From the made-to-order dim sum morsels to elegant banquet cuisine, Cantonese dishes created by JW Marriott Hotel Macao’s Chinese Executive Chef, Andy Ng, reflect the best of traditional specialties and regional favourites. Nine private and elegant dining rooms are available at Man Ho which are ideal for intimate and celebratory occasions, providing a timeless setting in which to delight in the culinary journey of the experience.
The Ruin of St. Paul’s refer to the facade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640, destroyed by fire in 1835, and the ruins of St. Paul’s College, which stood adjacent to the Church.
Lou Kau Mansion is believed to be built in 1889. This was the home of Lou Kau, a prominent Chinese merchant who owned several imposing properties in the city. It’s a two-storey, traditional grey-brick courtyard house, with the architectural characteristics of a typical xiguan Chinese residential building.
Andrea’s at Wynn Palace is a high-energy blend of East and West, serving dynamic and utterly delicious dishes. Authentic Chinese dishes are created with entertaining flair while reflecting the traditions of their respective regions: the elegance, delicacy, and precision of Huaiyang; the spicy complexity of Sichuan; and the fresh sophistication of Hangzhou and Suzhou.